Uniformed Women in Peace Operations

Challenging Assumptions and Transforming Approaches

Authored by: Gretchen Baldwin and Sarah Taylor

Categories: Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: Peacekeeping, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Region: No Region
Year: 2020
Citation: Baldwin, Gretchen, and Sarah Taylor. "Uniformed Women in Peace Operations: Challenging Assumptions and Transforming Approaches." International Peace Institute. June 2020.

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Executive Summary

Over the past twenty years, UN peace operations have made progress toward gender equality. Most mandates refer to women or gender, and the UN has set numerical targets to increase the percentage of women peacekeepers in all aspects of peace operations. Meeting—and exceeding—these targets, however, is just one aspect of meaningful integration for uniformed women. That integration requires a better understanding of the barriers and often-unrealistic expectations facing uniformed women.

To achieve their goals on women’s participation in peacekeeping, the UN and member states need to consider transformative possibilities that push back against these assumptions and norms. This requires grounding integration strategies in evidence, transforming missions to improve the experiences of women peacekeepers, and implementing a gendered approach to community engagement and protection.